Sonoma Valley’s volleyball team sets tone for season

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It’s not just football that’s highlighting the Sonoma Valley High School sports calendar – one of the school’s most successful squads, varsity volleyball, is back at it this month, and has already made its mark with an early victory over Analy.

The Dragons swept the Tigers in straight sets, 25-13, 25-20, and 25-19, in Sebastopol last Thursday, Aug. 29.

“The team played very well, especially considering it was their first match and we had only finished selecting the team a week ago!” said the team’s new coach, Brian Perkins. Last year’s assistant JV volleyball coach took over from Rand Rognlien after the 2018 season. Rognlien stayed on as an assistant varsity coach.

Perkins reported that the team started off fast in each set, taking the lead early and commanding the games. Only in the third set did the Dragons lead shrink to a single point, 15-14, before a kill down the line by senior Gianna Bruton turned the tide.

“Excellent serving and defense allowed us to stretch the lead and put the match away with a 10-5 run,” said Perkins.

Team leaders included junior Katie Brenninger with 29 attacks and 10 kills. She also led the team in serving with 8 aces on 23 attempts.

Bruton also had a strong night, with 12 attacks, 6 kills and zero errors for a team-leading hitting percentage of .500. Junior Sophia Riebli kept the offense humming with 17 assists off 70 sets.

On defense, senior libero Angelina Carabini led the backcourt with 14 digs and 20 serve receives with just one error. She was also perfect from the service line with one ace on 12 serves.

The Dragons volleyball team are always a force to be reckoned with, often driving deep into the NCS playoffs. They begin league play in the VVAL next week, on Sept. 10, with an away game against Justin-Sienna.

Their first home game is tonight, Tuesday, Sept. 3, against Cardinal Newman. Terra Linda comes to town on Friday, Sept. 6, in what is also sure to be a good game. Both games at Pfeiffer Gym, 6 p.m.

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